Encountering Bliss (My Journey through India with Anandamayi Ma)

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About the Book:

Anandamayi Ma (1896-1982), ” the Mother imbued with bliss”, as she was called by her followers, was one of the most significant Indian saints and one of the very few woman-Gurus of our times. Melita Maschmann, a journalist by profession, meets her by sheer coincidence and travels with her throughout India for several months.

This book was first published in 1967 under the title ”Der Tiger singt Kirtana” (A Tiger sings a Kirtana). It was revised and enlarged and was published in 1990 under the title “Eine ganz gewöhnliche Heilige” (A Very ordinary saint). It was also published in the paperback edition in 1992.

The book gives a lively account of Anandamayi Ma’s life and work, of a saint whose both feet were firmly on the ground and who inspired not only people of all faiths but could also give something to someone what one wanted – whether a believer or an atheist, an artist or a scholar, a politician or a housewife, a writer or a simple farmer.

But this book is not only an account of Ma. It is a fascinating account of Melita Maschmann’s encounter with Divine India (for she met only religious people), her trails and tribulations, her joys and sorrows in the constant company of Ma. Melita meandered her way through questions and more questions, doubts, and more doubts in her search for the ultimate truth. On her way, she met luminaries like Mother Teresa, who was worried because she was not a saint, Raihana Tyabji, a grand old lady who was an associate of Mahatma Gandhi, a Tantra-Lama and many others to realize finally, like Hermann Hesse’s “Siddhartha” that she had to look into herself to get the ultimate answer.

 

About the Author:

MELITA MASCHIMANN was at the helm of the affairs in Germany during the Nazi period. She was an active member of the Youth wing of the Party. At the end of the war, she realized that she was supporting a wrong cause, and she openly opposed the movement which was started again immediately after the War. The result was that she was hounded. She escaped to Afghanistan and earned her livelihood there as a journalist for German newspapers. In the summer of 1962, she wanted to return to Germany, but after travelling in India for a fortnight, “A sheer coincidence” brought her to Anandamayi Ma. She canceled all her travel plans, stayed with Ma, traveled through India with her, and made India her home.

Dr. S.B. SHROTRI was a Professor of German at Karnatak University, Dharwad till he retired in 1994. Since then he has made Pune his home. He has been translating Indological books for this publication house.

 

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